Sunday, June 22, 2008

Movin' right along

Thoughts on a rainy Sunday morning before Sean wakes up, while I still have my desk and time to type ...
  • I took some great notes at the Hunger Justice Leaders' Training, and I'm going to cull through them and turn them into something ... a blog post, some thank you cards, plans for next steps for this next year. The theology class I'm teaching at the Lyceum is on God and Suffering, and I'd like to use materials from Bread for the World and ELCA World Hunger to add a concrete, hopeful, Gospel-imperative component: God empowers us to respond to suffering through both immediate care and systemic change.
  • One reason I haven't gone through my notes yet is that I got home from training Wednesday afternoon and Saturday was our big yard sale. We took part in our apartment complex's yard sale (conveniently timed for our move!) and it was a lot of work in the hot sun (anticipated) and made me cry a little because people are beautiful (unanticipated). There was another couple moving out-of-country in a week; he's from Poland and gave me a list of things to do when we visit, and helped me carry bins out to our table. I also got help from neighbors from our building and countless others (I must have looked kind of pitiful carrying stuff ... Official Marquand Chair Mover or not, no one would mistake me for having upper-arm strength.) I wanted to be the lifter, though, because Sean was so good at the table--he took that station on his own in the morning, which is when all the serious yard salers come, and handled it with decisive grace. One of my helpers said: "You let him be, now, he's doing great. You just keep bringing him stuff to sell." And so I did.

    Eventually I ran out of stuff to bring down from the apartment, made us both some turkey-on-rye and brought out the water and the SPF 45 to spend the rest of the afternoon at the table with Sean. The afternoon was slow-going, but worth it for the conversations, with the folks at tables around us and folks who dropped by the yard sale just to check it out and chat. After the sun and lack-of-crowds convinced many to pack up early, a woman from the apartments came down and made our day. She went around to every table, she looked at everything, she bought some nice stuff for herself and her family members, and then she bought us all water ice. That's when I started getting a little teary--not just because of her kindness, but because she was an Umma, and based on our short interaction I wished I could sit down with her and ask her to tell me her stories.

    The sky was blue, and the occasional cloud and breeze were blessings. Everyone broke out umbrellas for protection from the sun, including me under my big Lee High School umbrella, and I was reminded of China. I gave my copy of Parker Palmer's Let Your Life Speak to a young Roman Catholic about to start seminary. Everyone wished us well and expressed excitement for our upcoming adventure. We capped the day off by taking some furniture over to the Jimmy, Andrea and Casey Casa and enjoying wonderful cheese steaks, ice cream, and an evening with them. It was a good day.
  • What's left? Less than a handful of unclaimed pieces of furniture--we should be able to find homes for these next week. Lots of sorting, packing, storing stuff with folks, and some storing-for-now with instructions to ship to Slovakia in July. We'll stay with Sean's parents June 30, with Jimmy and Andrea July 1, and head out to Chicago July 2 for our last big trip with the Sneaker (our wonderful little car ... for sale, y'all.)

There's a lot to do--we're really too busy staying on top of all the little things to process how we feel about the transition, etc. I'm sure a month or so of orientation will help! We are looking around the apartment these days and realizing that this is really happening.

Our alarm is about to go off ... better get back in bed. =) Keep us in your prayers!


Anonymous said...

wow! sounds like you guys are as overbooked as curt and i were getting out of grad school! when we landed in spain and the world slowwed back to walking pace ofr a month, it really did sink in and boy, did i cry a lot. mostly joy, but letting go of the tension and frustration and everything else as well. i think a month of orientation sounds WONDERFUL.


Pastor Annie said...

Time to cry is definitely needed. =) I'm a little leaky now, even, but it's not really on the schedule yet ... looking forward to that catharsis!
Love you, dear! Thank you for the empathy ... how do you always know what to say to make me feel hugged?

Anonymous said...

y'all come *back* now, ya hear?

seriously, you will be prayed for and missed.

Pastor Annie said...

Ben! Thank you for your prayers, and for missing us. =) I am missing yous guys already! Are you in The Cities yet?